Insights into Chinese Defense Policy?

Via the BBC:  China ‘reveals army structure’ in defence white paper.

China has revealed the structure of its military units, in what state-run media describe as a first.

The army has a total of 850,000 soldiers, while the navy and air force have a strength of 235,000 and 398,000, China said in its defence white paper.

The paper also criticised the US’s expanded military presence in the Asia Pacific, saying it had exacerbated regional tensions.

China’s defence budget rose by 11.2% in 2012, exceeding $100bn (£65bn).

Text of the paper in English here:  The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Close to 1.5 million in the Chinese armed services. Considering the country’s population exceeds 1.3 billion, that seems low.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy: interesting. On the other hand, perhaps the ‘right’ size for a military has to do with the size of territory to defend and not the population. In that case it seems large.

  3. DC Loser says:

    The figure doesn’t include the paramilitary PAP units formed from demobilized military members. China is about the same size as the U.S., and these numbers are not that far off from US numbers.